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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Title: The Alpha's Bargain: A Howl's Romance
Author: Ryan Michele
Genre: Shifter Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 29, 2017 



Dire straights.

Rock bottom.

Out of options.

It's where we were. My pack and I.

A simple bargain.

A childhood crush.

Could it work? In a world of fated mates how would we possibly fake it for everyone?

Luca made it all sound so easy. My heart, body, and wolf were on board. I just needed to convince my head. 

I couldn't deny the alpha he was or the chemistry between us. Only time could tell if it would be for eternity. 

A not so simple bargain changed it all.








©Ryan Michele 2017 The Alpha’s Bargain (A Paranormal Shifter Romance) (Howls Romance)

Unedited and Subject to Change

The wind whistled through the trees, bending the strong trunks to its will. Leaves rustled, creating music through the night’s sky, while the clouds hid the moon, leaving everything blanketed in darkness. The smell of rain lingered in the air, indicating the storm was coming through hard and fast. Off in the distance, wolves howled, warning of the fast approaching weather change. 

The air invaded my lungs, and the calm seeped deep into my body. My hair blew in the wind as the swing rocked back and forth while I watched the changes from my front porch. It was my favorite spot. Spending hours here had become my pastime. Whether the sun shone down, moon glowed, or the storm rose, sitting in this spot filled me with peace.

Storms were my favorite, though. The more lightning, thunder, and rain, the better. It was as if two worlds were colliding, bringing a force down on one another that rivaled the other. An epic battle of wills, crashing and tearing through the land—all of it part of nature and her works.

The clouds would sporadically give way to the crescent moon playing hide-and-seek with the earth below. Small droplets began to fall to the ground, the dirt pressing out of its way before the water seeped in. A burst of energy floated through the air as lightning cracked, thunder crashed, and the rain began to pour down around me. All the while, not a drop hit me because of the large awning above.

Yellow eyes glowed in the distance, making their way quickly toward me. A beautiful, light brown wolf with white around his ankles hopped up on the porch, his nails tapping against the wood. He shook his body violently and fast, spraying me.

Rolling my eyes, I wiped the wetness from my bare arms and glared down at my brother as he shifted. 

Ren stood before me with a wide, mischievous smile on his face. “Thought you could use a shower.” He chuckled as a large crash of thunder reverberated, shaking the ground beneath us, my feet feeling the long rumble.

“And here I thought I liked you.”

Ren reached down, snagging his sweatpants and pulling them over his body. Wolves never cared about nudity. It was a part of our lives, but being siblings, my three brothers kept themselves covered for the most part, which was greatly appreciated.

The swing gave a creak and groan as my brother’s heavy weight settled beside mine, all the while the rain and wind picked up around us.

“Why do you love storms so much?” Ren asked, pushing the swing back and forth with his powerful legs. 

Ren was the oldest and would one day be alpha, according to our father. A job Ren rolled with and didn’t make much fuss about. Stating, “He’d worry about it when the time comes.” Which was an admirable thing to me.

In some packs, rifts would cause problems between the alphas fighting for dominance. So far, we’d skated those lines and hadn’t had that issue.

“Peace, Ren. In all the chaos that is the storm, the peace will come.”

He let out a huge sigh and laced his fingers behind his head. “Have you told Dad yet?”

My insides clenched, and the headache that stayed at bay began to come back, seeping into my temples. “No.” Telling my father would mean trouble, and bringing that to my family wasn’t on the top of my list. The problem was, it couldn’t be hidden for much longer. 

We were drowning. 

Our pack, the one my father, his father before him, and his father before him had grown, was losing more money than we were bringing in. Therefore, our savings was dwindling to the point of scraping by, and no pack could survive the way things were. With sixteen mouths to feed, electricity that needed to be paid, and to simply live, we needed a holy grail of help.

I’d done everything possible to get us back in the black, and the stress of it was getting to me and my wolf. Lately, she was restless to a point where neither a run nor a hunt could calm her. The human side of me wasn’t much better. The pressure of making things right, of helping my family and not being able to was sending me down a dark path.

It couldn’t be stopped, because no matter what accounts money was shifted to or creative ways to put off the bills, they just kept coming. All of it weighed so heavily on my chest there were times I couldn’t breathe and felt like an utter disappointment to everyone around me. 

My parents had me attend the local Breed College and get a degree in finance, which only nailed my coffin harder, because I felt like a failure on so many levels. The problem was the money wasn’t coming in as fast as we needed it, and it was time for everyone to get jobs outside the pack so we could get back on our feet.

Ren and I were the only ones who knew how low we were because I confided in him. It was either that or allow the pressure to take me completely under.

Knowing one day I was destined to be an alpha female, I carried the weight of my pack heavier than most. My natural instincts screamed to save the pack from all problems. Even though I hadn’t yet had my first heat, my family knew my wolf, and I knew it, too. Eventually, everyone else would once I had my cycle, and then I would be more of a failure.

“We’re going in now and talking to him, Caleigh. This can’t go on, and the longer we wait, the farther down we’ll go.”

He was right. The only reason for me putting it off was my ego, which was totally stupid on my part. It was so damn hard, though, knowing you failed. You failed everyone around you when you should know exactly what to do to make it right. I had no other options at this point, and finding a money tree wasn’t an option.

“Right,” I breathed out, not wanting to, but having to do the responsible thing. 

We rose from the swing just as another crash came to the earth. This time it felt like a warning, one that made the hair on the back of my neck stand to attention.

My father was the best man I knew—loyal, fair, and trustworthy to the highest degree. It was one of the reasons I was so down on myself about telling him. He had put so much trust in me to handle the finances, and here it was, all fucked up. Having him disappointed in me was the worst feeling ever.

Tears threatened to push their way to the surface, but I held them back while following Ren into the pack house.








Ryan Michele found her passion in making fictional characters come to life. She loves being in an imaginative world where anything is possible and has a knack for special twists readers don’t see coming.

She writes MC, Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, New Adult, Inspirational, and many more romances. And whether it’s bikers, wolf shifters, mafia, or beyond, Ryan spends her time making sure her heroes are strong and her heroines match them at every turn.

When she isn’t writing, Ryan is a mom and wife living in rural Illinois and reading by her pond in the warm sun.


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Title: Start With Me
Series: Start Again Series Book Three
Author: J. Saman
Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release Date: October 16, 2017


Claire

No relationships. No falling in love. 
Those are my rules. Simple. Easy. Uncomplicated. 
Then Kyle Grant walks into my life and tries to mess all that up with his GQ looks and irresistible charm. 
He’s everything I want.
But can never have.

Kyle

The moment I laid eyes on Claire Sullivan, I knew she was different. 
Then reality hit me. She’s my brother’s assistant. She lives in Seattle and I live in New York.
As if that wasn’t enough, she reminds me with annoying frequency that she doesn’t do relationships. 
But I don’t care. I want her. 
Now I just have to convince her to be mine.








We trek down the mountain and simply going by the laws of gravity, it takes us half the time to get down than it did to get up. By the time we reach his car, we’re exhausted.
It’s also pitch black and raining. Hard. A torrential downpour complete with thunder and lightning came out of absolutely nowhere.
“Shit,” Kyle laughs as he starts his car. “It’s awful out. And there are no lights around here.”
“Then I take it you didn’t noticed that there is a car blocking you.”

“What?” Kyle’s head snaps around like he can see in the dark out of his even darker back windshield. He can’t. So, he puts his car into reverse and the backup camera comes to life on his navigation screen.

“Shit,” he says again, because some asshole seriously blocked us in. They’re parked in just such a way that we can’t get out because if we go forward and try to readjust ourselves, we’ll roll down into a gully.
“So, I guess I am a camping girl, after all. At least we’re warm and dry in your car.”
“Yeah. I have gas, but not a full tank and this car has a big engine, which means we don’t have enough to get through the night and drive home tomorrow.”
“That’s not exactly environmentally friendly.”
“Yeah. Thanks. I’m an asshole Yuppie.”
“I think your kind is actually referred to as the one-percenters now. Yuppie went out with acid-washed jeans, Studio 54, and blow.”
“Again, not very helpful. As I was saying, we have some gas, but we’re going to need it to get out of the fucking mountains. So, I’m going to have to turn off the car soon. We’re stuck out here, cupcake. Do you get that? We’re going to have to sleep in my car in the middle of the goddamn forest.”
He’s freaking out. Which is oddly endearing. I get it, though. He grew up in Philly and then lived in New York City, so roughing it in the wilderness is really not his thing. It’s not exactly my thing either, but I’m definitely more of a roll-with-the-punches person than he is.
“On the bright side, I packed plenty of water and snacks, and we have the whole back of your car to sleep in.”
He looks at me and I don’t think he’s seeing the bright side quite the same way I am. But really, we’re not so bad off. We have shelter, jackets, food and water. Could be so much worse.
“Claire . . .” He looks over at me, nonplussed.
“Oh, come on, Kyle. Adapt with me.” Heat is brushing our faces and it’s warm and cozy in here despite the monsoon outside. It’s actually pretty noisy, but in a comforting way. Is it weird that I’m not at all disappointed about being stuck out here with him?
Other than the fact that I have to pee. That part kind of sucks right now. And the sound of the rain is definitely not doing me any favors.
“Adapt with you? Are you willing to sleep with me in the backseat?”
“That’s oddly reminiscent of a high school proposition I once received.”
“I’m being serious.”
“I can see that,” I say with a smile, hoping to relax him. “Yes, I’ll gladly snuggle up against you. But first, I have to pee.” He looks at me like he might be ready to kill me. “It’s the sound of the rain. It cannot be helped. I’m going to pee and probably be soaking wet when I return.” Again, not amused. “Just keep the heat on, okay?”
I start to take off my jacket, followed by my shirt.
“What the hell are you doing?” he practically yells at me.
“Seriously?” I look over at him incredulously. “If I go out there fully dressed it will not only take me longer to do my thing, but I’ll be soaking wet when I return. I’m stripping down now so that when I come back, I can put on dry clothes and not freeze my ass off all night.”
He stares at me, his eyes slightly bulging. I shimmy out of my jeans and then I’m sitting on his front seat in my bra and panties.
“Fuck,” he hisses, but I don’t waste time on his reaction to my almost nudity.
I hit the unlock button and hop out into the freezing rain. “Holy hell,” I scream, running down to the car next to us and squatting in front of it. Kyle can’t see me from here and considering I’m already shaking and shuddering, frozen and soaked through, I wouldn’t care if he could.
I do my business in record time, rub my hands together because they’re already wet, and then I jump back into his car.
I’m drenched. Water is running through my hair and down my body in rivulets. My panties and bra are not even salvageable. I shiver, trembling uncontrollably. Because goddamn I’m freezing.
“C-close y-your e-e-e-eyes.” My teeth are chattering so badly I’m afraid I’m going to chip one. Kyle has the sense to turn up the heat to full blast, pointing the vents at me.
He looks at me and then I glare and he gets it. His eyes shut, but a small smile twitches up the corner of his lips. “I already looked.”
“Y-yeah, b-but I’m a-about to get n-n-n-naked”
“Why?” he asks, suddenly all Zen with an even bigger smile. Asshole.
“B-because I’m w-w-wet.”
He groans, throwing his head back and everything, and suddenly I’m flooding with heat.
I rip off my bra and panties, sitting naked on his passenger seat, which is nicely warm since he also turned on the butt heat for me. I use one of my t-shirts to wipe down my body—my frozen sodden body—very grateful that I thought to wear multiple layers. Between the blasting heat and the warmth from my seat, I’m already feeling better, and my teeth have thankfully calmed down enough for me to speak. “Are you looking?”
“No,” he says, that impish grin still in place. “But I have the perfect image of you mostly naked and soaking wet with your hard nipples poking through your bra, so I’m good.”
“Asshole,” I mutter, as I slip commando into my jeans and throw on my long-sleeved thermal followed by my jacket. I twist my soaking wet hair up into a bun and secure it with an elastic. “I’m good.”
“No baby, you’re fucking gorgeous.” His eyes open and he looks at me with a devilish smile I feel all the way in my toes. “How on earth am I going to sleep next to you and keep my hands to myself?”
“You’ll manage.”
He shakes his head, his eyes dark and filled with lust. Damn, I want to straddle him in his seat and ride him until morning.
I hand him a package of trail mix and a bottle of water from my backpack and we eat, accompanied by the sound of the pouring rain and the radio. We don’t speak. Our sexual tension is too tightly wound for words.
He silently shuts off the car, bathing us in blackness. The rain makes loud clanking sounds against the metal of the roof of his car. Lightning flashes violently, lighting up the black sky for a fleeting second followed closely by an angry ripple of thunder.
“You ready to try and sleep in this hellhole?”
“Yeah,” I say, my voice thick, my breaths coming out just a touch faster.
He flips on the flashlight app on his phone, hits a button on his car and the back seats go down.
“Bow chicka wow wow,” I sing playfully.
He laughs and then we wordlessly crawl back into our new bed.
We settle in, my back to his front. My ass far too close to his dick.
“Claire?” he whispers, the darkness and our proximity requiring that level of intimacy.
“Yes?”
“I promise to be good,” he says and then pauses. “But you should know that I’m having all kinds of thoughts. All. Kinds. So, if you wake up to a wandering hand, I’m apologizing in advance.”
“You’re forgiven,” I breathe and giggle a little, trying to play his words off as a joke.
He drops an open mouth kiss to the crook of my neck. Once. Twice. It’s not enough. My eyes clench shut at the warmth of his mouth on my skin, a moan caught in the back of my throat. My eyes blink open and I stare into the blackness in front of me. It would be so easy to ask for more.
So, goddamn easy.
And so fucking stupid.
Then he pulls me into his chest, his arm wraps snuggly around my waist, forming my body to his incredible heat. I can’t get close enough.
I sigh. He sighs. I close my eyes and I spend the entire night talking myself out of turning around.



 




Author J. Saman lives in New England with her husband and three daughters. When she's not writing romance and looking after her busy family, she works as a nurse practitioner. J. is a lover of picking at old wounds and second chance romances. She likes strong female leads and sexy alpha men with a sweet side. 



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